Friday, August 22, 2014

Overcoming Trouble

Overcome Tribulation
by Andrew Wommack

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

Jesus said we would have tribulation. He did not say that He was the one bringing the tribulation or what the tribulation would be, but He said it would come. Then He made the amazing statement that in the midst of tribulation we were to be of good cheer.

Tribulations exist because there is a battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the devil. When we operate in faith, God is able to grant us such victory that we are actually better off because of the battle.

It's just like when a army goes to war. If they win, they gain spoils. But if they embrace their enemy because of the spoils they were expecting to receive, they will be killed instead of blessed. First, you have to fight and win the war and then, and only then, will the spoils be available. The enemy doesn't come to be a blessing, but a blessing can be obtained from the enemy if we are victorious.

Likewise, tribulations and adversities are not blessings from God. They are attacks from the enemy intended to steal the Word of God out of our lives. No man should say that the temptation came from God, for God is not the one who tempts any man (James 1:13).

If problems were what perfected us, then most Christians would have been perfected long ago and those who experienced the greatest problems would be the greatest Christians. However, that's not the way it is.

God's Word is given to us to make us perfect, and thoroughly furnished unto every good work (2 Timothy 3:17). God's Word does not need to be supplemented with problems to accomplish its work.

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Slugs - Give Them a Chance to Steal Your Heart

Photo by Donna L. Watkins
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Great Gardenslug aka Leopard Slug
Kemper Park, Charlottesville, VA

by Christy Peterson

“Slug” is a word that garners an instant response, from a general “yuck” to downright vitriol. Slugs have few champions and many victims.

The slugs that ravage most gardens and greenhouses are nonnative species, in my case, the great gray garden slug and the European black slugs.

In their native habitats (and in my backyard too) slugs are important cogs in the food web. They break down decaying plant material, help disperse seeds and spores, and rid the world of poop (another favorite slug food).  Read the entire article.

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Can We Control Emotions and Feelings?

by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Every thought is a memory, with both information and emotion embedded into it. When a thought moves from the nonconscious to the conscious mind and we become aware of it, we feel these emotions. It is in this state of feeling the emotions that we have to reach out to God and ask Him to guide the choices we will make based on the perceptions these feelings generate.

If we don’t let God control, we will draw on our weak human wisdom and make a bad decision. Emotions are wonderful - when driven by the Savior; but can be torturous when driven by carnal wisdom.

Watch this video episode to see how to let God control your emotions and feelings.

It's Not About Who You Are ... It Is Who You Have Become

Each time we think and choose, we build a new thought into our brain, which literally changes the internal landscape of our brain. This contributes to how we perceive life and how we make the next set of choices.

We can easily fall into a negative cycle if we don’t stop, stand back and reconnect with God asking Him to show us who we really are: an incredible human being made in His image.

Each bad decision changes who you are at the core, but it’s not who you really are - it’s who you have become. It’s not your destiny and every bad decision can be changed. if you have wired it in, with God’s help you can wire it out!

Watch this video episode to see how to overcome the past and wire out those bad decisions!

Lyme Disease - An Emerging Pet Problem

by Dr. Jane Bicks

The call of the Great Outdoors ... it’s hard to resist in the summer months, especially for dogs craving a bit of adventure. However, this year, many pet parents are concerned about the prevalence of Lyme disease, as well as its symptoms like joint pain.

How can you protect your canine from this illness that’s on the rise in the U.S.? Our pet product formulator, Dr. Jane Bicks, brings you all the details about the recent outbreak, including steps you can take to keep your pet kids safe this summer. Read the latest from Dr. Jane now ...

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 8/15/14

  The Nature In Us Newsletter - 8/15/14 
  by Donna L. Watkins  

Hello Dear Friends!

Benjamin with 1st Annual Balloon Release
to Heaven for Nana and Granddaddy
on His Birthday - An Annual Tradition
Our only child, Benjamin Christopher, celebrated a birthday on the 10th of August.  The 35th one.  Hard to imagine my cute little boy being so old ... or is it that I can't imagine me being so old to have a son that is 35?  Regardless, he had a good one.

When he was younger we would get a balloon to release into the heavens for his Nana and Granddaddy.  They died when he was 6 years old and it became a tradition to do that.  He would kneel down and pray and then let it fly.  We would stand and watch until it became invisible.  Sweet memories.

My husband and I were having lunch one day and heard a sound we'd never heard before and it was repetitive.  I said it's probably a fawn since I saw two of them playing back there today.  Fawns from different mothers will often play together since the mothers sometimes browse together.  A few months back we had a fawn right at our screened porch letting out this bleating sound that made it sound like a goat.  Different from the sound we heard at lunch recently, so I thought I'd see what sounds they do make. 

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Baby Deer in Front Yard Waiting For Mama
More Deer Photos
More Fawn Photos
Upon Googling for this, I came across this delightful video of a herd of deer that frequented a home and property daily since they had a lot of clover.  The deer, both mom and fawns, were very vocal when trying to find each other.  They would rest in the yard and over the years even allow the people to sit near them and touch them.  View YouTube video on deer and fawns.

I've seen videos where people feed deer, even on plates at a picnic table.  I didn't see any of that here which I don't agree with.  "Our" deer occasionally get corn or sunflower seeds because we put some down weekly as a treat for the squirrels and ground birds like the doves.  If the deer come by while there's still some left they eat some, but that's not less "wild" than happening upon anything else to browse on.  The location of the corn is also changed quite a bit and some is placed under bushes or concrete benches so the deer can't access it easily.

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Dragonfly Looks Like He's Got BIG Front Teeth
View More Dragonfly Photos
We've had a lot of damselflies and dragonflies this year.  We have a backyard frog pond and they get to visit and produce their offspring in it also.  It's amazing what all will come and live in a small backyard pond.  We love frogs so that was our motivation for digging it, but I also love some of the pond plants that have beautiful blooms.

This dragonfly in the enlarged view looks like he's got huge front teeth.  Haven't noticed this before so wondering if it's something he's in the process of eating.  Anybody have any comments?

We live in a small enough house that my husband and I can simply shout back and forth with questions or reminders about something.  Lately it seemed that I was repeating everything I said to him, so I wondered if there was a hearing test that could be done online.  There is a test and it was fun and simple to take.

Randal At Work - 2005
It seems hearing isn't an issue as much as "tuning in" on what's being said.  Randal works all day on the computer with programming code and some complicated tasks (in my mind anyway), so he's just processing some bit or byte of information when I begin to speak and doesn't "tune in" as quickly, so that's why he keeps asking me to repeat everything.  Want to take the hearing test?

A newsworthy tip: IRS recently renewed its Oct. 2013 warning about a pervasive phone scam that continues to target people across the nation, including recent immigrants. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration called it the largest scam of its kind. As of March 20, TIGTA reported that it has received reports of over 20,000 contacts related to this scam. TIGTA also stated that thousands of victims have paid over $1 million to fraudsters claiming to be from the IRS.  Read the article.

The Green-headed Coneflowers are in full bloom to the delight of all the pollinators and the American Goldfinches that love the seeds.  Now that I'm back to garden work I am feeling more complete.  When all I could do was look through the windows or sit on the porches longing to be walking in it ... making mental lists of all the things that needed to be done ... and feeling so deprived of "being me" ... I was not a happy camper.

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Green-headed Coneflower With Wasp
View More Wasp Photos
However, at all times I realized the blessing of having such a place to view, even if I could not step into it.  It offered much solace and comfort.  Not only watching things grow and bloom, but the wildlife that it attracts which is the most delightful entertainment there is for me.

I'm not a city gal any more.  As many young people do, I enjoyed living in the big city of Atlanta that offered everything under the sun to do, but when we built our first home in an acre and a half of woods, I began to fall in love with God's Creation and nothing competes with the thrill of that now.

Rachel Carson said in The Sense of Wonder, “There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”  It has seen me through many a sorrow or grief or loss by making me so aware of the closeness of Jesus when we are hurting.  You can create a garden wonderland even on a small balcony.  The visual delights will carry you away to peaceful places where your spirit and soul can refresh and be made whole again.

Some things that I find in the garden are not an exciting adventure.  These guys are stink bugs and if you've read anything about them, they are causing a lot of trouble in the agricultural world (read more about this).

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Stink Bug Eggs (Pentatomidae) and
Babies on Blue-Black Salvia Leaf

These bugs can become a nuisance pest for homeowners when they are attracted to the outside of houses on warm fall days in search of protected, overwintering sites.  They find their way inside and in Spring as the weather warms they begin emerging and you can find stink bugs all over your home.  We have had some on our screened porch, but fortunately not in the house.

If you find something that looks like these eggs, do not assume they are stink bugs.  Many insects lay down this style of eggs and they can be beneficial like the Green Mantidfly that laid eggs last year on the front porch lamp.  I mentioned this with photo in the 8/1/14 newsletter with information about the benefits of the Green Mantidfly.

This is not the first sighting of Stink Bugs on our property.  We've had them for years but we rarely see any now.  There are a variety of Stink Bugs. View photos of all that I've discovered on our property. The only ones I've seen this year were 3 that appeared on the screened porch.  We have a large area of these salvia plants and I did not see any other leaves affected other than this one, so we will let nature balance itself out since so few will surely be eaten especially since we still have Mamas and Papas feeding their babies.  They aren't increasing in numbers at all.

Matter of fact the first year I saw them they were all over the butterfly bush and other plants.  We decided then to wait and see.  Seems we've done that.  Somebody is eating them up just like the Japanese Beetles we used to have in large numbers.  Read about our disappearing Japanese Beetles.

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Donna on Caboose at N&W Train Station
Historic Farmville, VA
Last Saturday we decided to take a day trip to Farmville, VA.  The town is mainly known for being a furniture outlet, but there is a lot of history there also.  Lots of cool architecture and information on historic areas in downtown Farmville.

There was a train station and a bright red caboose which I loved.  I used to climb all over and inside cabooses when I was a kid.  My great grandfather would take me down to the train tracks to do so.  Anytime I see a caboose I can climb up on ... I'm on it!  We walked the Sarah Terry Trail at Wilck's Lake, visted Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College and even took a step back in time having lunch at Walker's Diner.  View photo albums at above links.

The Bible says that we either speak life or death with our words:

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." (Proverbs 18:21)

"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." (James 3:10)

The only way to get out from under circumstances that threaten to overtake us is to focus on Jesus and not the problem(s).  If we speak and think what the Bible says about our problems, we can overcome.  Whatever we place our thoughts on will become magnified.  Read: When Unbelief Consumes Our Heart
If we have family problems with children or relatives, we must speak blessings over them so God can work a change in both hearts.  If you are seeking healing, don't look at the problem, look to what the Word tells us about healing (by His stripes you WERE healed).

Jesus told us that in this world we would always have troubles, but that He has overcome them.  He came to give us life abundantly.  He did the suffering for us.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26:3)

There are Bible promises to release you from every problem you may have, but they must be voice-activated.  Just as God created the entire universe by His words, we have the same power within us to speak "to the mountain" as Jesus said (Matthew 21:21), and deliver ourselves from the problem.

We are told to meditate on the Word.  Chewing, absorbing and sinking it into our hearts.  Quantity Bible reading is not the best way to approach the Word. Biblical meditation is focused thinking about a Bible verse that speaks to you, so you can more effectively apply its truth to your life. True application of the Bible in your life requires Biblical mediation.

My Heart Belongs to Jesus
God's love for us is inescapable, insurmountable and irrefutable.  We are simply awesome.  If you're not certain of this, just ask our Dad!  

Begin to recognize that God loves you so much!  Speak to yourself in the mirror if you have a hard time believing this.  Speak blessings over yourself and your family.
The blessings of God encircle me, (Psalm 103:4)
Go before me and overtake me. (Deuteronomy 28:2)

Choose to take time to be with the Lord and ask Him what Bible verse will help you get through the challenging situation you have now.  Then choose to meditate on that verse until you believe it to be true in your heart ... not just your head.

Have a blessed time with the Lord this week.  Be still and know Him!

P.S. Anything in here that might help somebody you know?
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written by Donna

Posts Since Last Newsletter

Seeing The Word Alive In Me  (DLW)

Living Near Trees Reduces Stress

Composting Cardboard

Baffling Behaviors of Pets

Newsletter - 8/1/14  (DLW)

Previous Posts You May Have Missed

God Wants YOU Well

Sodas and Fructose Dangers

Water Striders In Our Pond  (DLW)

God Is Not Mad At You

Alternative Therapies for Pet Joint Problems

Worm Composting

Newsletter - 7/15/14  (DLW)

Prozac for Pets Grows in Popularity

God's Kind of Love

Benefits Of The Black Gum Tree

Newsletter - 7/1/14 (DLW)

Christian Mockingbirds (DLW)

Controlling Army Worms in Your Garden

The Power of Preventive Care for Pets - Video

Natural Grocers Bans Confinement Dairy Products

Thoughts, Doubts and Fears

Walmart Drives Down Organic Food Prices

Newsletter - 6/15/14 (DLW)

No Thought Is Harmless

How to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden

The Mysterious Brown Thrasher  (DLW)

Ants Are Gardening Assets

Newsletter - 6/1/14  (DLW)

The Power Of Hope

More Than Just Sowing and Reaping

6 Best Headache-Healing Foods

Not All Beetles Are Bad: Beneficial Garden Bugs

Pet Safe Fertilizers for Lawn & Garden

Abba, Daddy, Papa and God the Father (DLW)

Natural Way to Get Duckweed Out of Your Pond (DLW)

Newsletter - 5/15/14 (DLW)

You Are Wired For Love

Our Abba Daddy

The Ethics of Native Plant Gardening

Doctor Speaks on Vaccination Indoctrination

Believing Is More Than a Choice

Mr. Bud Survives The Crimes  (DLW)

Soldier Beetles Are Pollinators

Hard Hearts

Recover From Germ Phobia

Bathing Pets at Home

God Adores You! (DLW)

Simple Nest Boxes for Cavity-Nesting Bees

Miniature Ponds – How To Build

Heart Health for Humans and Pets

I Can't Is Not A Good Decision

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Seeing The Word Alive In Me

by Donna L. Watkins

Recently I've been chewing on and digesting God's Word. I have been studying very deeply over the past three years. I used to think quantity of Bible reading was important, but now I see it's a loss. When God tells us to meditate on it day and night for good success, it means we are to take a Word that He has given us or that we have seen in the Bible that jumps out at us to be pondered.

Meditate is to ponder, consider, picture, imagine, etc. Asking God to show you more and more of what it means for you. If it's a healing Scripture then you meditate until you can see yourself totally well. Until you can see it on the inside, you won't see it on the outside.

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Bee in Rose of Sharon Bloom
Time To Return to the Hive
After Andrew Wommack's prayer over me at one of his seminars, God instantly healed me of Rheumatoid Arthritis and I began getting better with the heart issue as a gradual healing. I had studied a lot even by then and thought I believed it all. How often we grasp something with our minds and think we really know it when it's just information at that stage of time.

The progressive healing was exciting and I was so grateful and yet my mouth would speak that I couldn't believe it. Too late I saw that was an open doorway for the devil. We have to be careful of what we think since we become the sum of our thoughts. Jesus turned the mourning people out of the house and told Jarius that only he, his wife, the three disciples and Jesus would remain. The faith of the parents needed to be present, which is why Jesus said, "Don't be afraid, just believe." The people he told to leave were already mocking Jesus for saying she wasn't dead, but sleeping.

Another time when trying to minister in His own town, He had to lead a blind man out of the town to get him healed. This story is in Mark 8:23-25: "And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly."

Was Jesus' faith not quite on target that day? Again, our own faith must meet the provision of God to receive it. It's very interesting to also note in the next verse that "He sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town" (Mark 8:26). The doubt and unbelief of others affects our hearts and when we begin to doubt we begin to lose whatever provision the Lord has provided for us by faith.

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Dwarf Bee Balm
I am certain that a level of pride was also involved in my eagerness to share all this good news about healing since so many of us have been taught things not true to Scripture. I didn't see it as pride, unless you would say I was so proud of our Abba being such a good God, but rather that I wanted to glorify God in all that He'd done and that I wanted to share all that I had learned.

However, as stated I now realize that learning something with our minds is not necessarily "getting it." Information is a good thing. We must first have the knowledge that God is good and that He has already healed us before we can renew our mind to what the Word says.

But hearing nor teaching of somebody else's revelation has an anointing on it and can cause confusion when you can't SEE what is true in the physical realm. As humans we are geared to living by our senses, but we were created spirit beings with a body to house that spirit and a soul [brain] to run the body.  God gave us 6 senses with the spiritual realm being the one to rule.  That's why Adam and Eve didn't know they were naked.  They walked in the spirit, not in the flesh (5 physical senses).

God wants our souls to bow to the direction of the spirit and that's where things get complicated. I have repented to the Lord for my unbelief that ran the faith out that had produced the healing. It only allows me to understand it all so much better now and I am putting out all those "mourners who are laughing" [the Enemy's attacks on our thoughts] and standing on God's Word.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"  Hebrews 11:1) 

 The spiritual realm has substance and when we hope for (imagine it to be so in us), we bring that substance into our physical bodies.  Our bodies respond to what we believe and think.  As we believe and think differently our bodies will respond accordingly.  TRUTH always trumps REALITY!

You are a thinking being:
You wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is think
All day long you are thinking, processing information
through your five senses, activating existing thoughts
in the networks of your mind. The last thing you do at night
as you fall asleep is think. And even while you are sleeping
you are sorting out your thinking. The fact of the matter is
you never stop thinking! It is the creative force that leads to choice
producing real physical entities in the brain (thoughts)
which affect your spirit, soul and body.

Living Near Trees Reduces Stress

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Live Oak Tree - Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner, SC
If you're in need of a little stress relief, it might be waiting just outside your front door ...

A new study from the University of Wisconsin in Madison reveals that people who live near trees and green spaces report lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression than those in more concrete- and asphalt-lined neighborhoods. Researchers collected health survey data from 2,500 Wisconsin residents, then paired the data with satellite images showing how much vegetation was in residents' neighborhoods.

The results: People who lived on blocks with less than 10% tree canopy were more likely to report feeling stressed or down. The findings were true regardless of race, age, income level, marital status or education.

"A poor person living on a logging road in (a national forest) was more likely to be happy than a wealthier person living on a treeless block in Milwaukee," the researchers said in a statement.  Read the entire article.